After President Pratibha Patil and Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, it’s the judiciary’s own now who have expressed displeasure at the way the Indian judicial system was working.
A group of jurists and intellectuals, known as Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR), on Monday charged the judiciary with “working in the interest of wealthy corporate interests which control the entire ruling establishment”.
“The increasingly elitist and anti-poor attitude of the majority of judges, particularly of the Supreme Court, as reflected in their judgments, was dangerous,” the CJAR said in a statement endorsed by former SC judges VR Krishna Iyer and PB Sawant, and former law minister Shanti Bhushan.
“A poor person accused of an offence has no hope in the present judicial system,” the group, supported by 70 NGOs, said.
The CJAR attack follows strong statements by the President and Lok Sabha Speaker over the past two days, slamming the judiciary for the huge backlog of cases and delay in delivering justice.
The group criticised CJI KG Balakrishnan for his remarks on social activist Teesta Setalvad. The CJI, on February 19, expressed strong displeasure on Setalvad’s comments blaming the court for delay in the Gujarat riots cases. Senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan said, “...The judiciary had become so arrogant... that it was not ready to accept any critical comment.”